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Archive for the tag “WTF???”

WTF Stock Art Sites?!: An Open Letter to Stock Art Sites (and Photographers Who Sell Their Work There)

Dear Stock Art Sites and Photographers who Sell Their Work There,

What are you even thinking?

No, really. I mean that in all seriousness.

What the actual merciless fuck is the matter with you?

Have you seen some of the weird shit that ends up on royalty-free photo sites?

Look, I get it. Not everyone who uses your site is trying to find appropriate looking models or images for cover art and promo for books. I realize that a lot of pop psychology articles and/or think pieces feature a good many of your photos. As do myriad advice columns, and blog posts (including yours truly) but dudes, I’m mostly there for photos that my brilliant cover artist can turn into cover art for my books. Honestly, a lot of people are there for that reason. So, we need to talk. There are some things you guys need to cut the fuck back on.

Unless you’re new here, you won’t be surprised to learn that I have a list of things that annoy me we’d all like to see a lot less of. So, let’s begin, shall we?

Why are there so many photos of people taking selfies and/or using phones in inexplicably weird ways? Yes, I’m aware that many think pieces have been written about people’s selfie fixation. Then, there are the memes and bitchy, self-righteous facebook posts. The people making memes are usually using actual selfies, not stock art. And while I have no problem with people taking selfies, (Do it up! I wish I had that skill.) as far as the stock art goes, literally no one needs hundreds of pages of photos of people taking selfies. No. One.

Cheerful bearded young man showing thumbs up and taking selfie

So, this douche…

While we’re on the topic of phones, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the plethora of photos of people talking on their cell phone at weird and unlikely times.

Smiling woman talking on mobile phone in yoga studio

Yoga: You’re doing it wrong. 

If you really want to show people using their cellphones in their natural habitat, there would be page after page of people sitting on the toilet chatting or playing Words with Friends while waiting in a school parking lot for their kids.

While we’re on the topic of people doing inexplicably weird things whilst on the phone, we need to talk about the preponderance of Santa hat photos. No really. There are so many. Like…a terrifying amount. I mean, I like the holidays as much as the next person, but the sheer volume of models in Santa hats makes literally no sense. You guys, there are thousands.

Friends in santa's hats with phones

Are you showing him his gift? Do you have porn on your phone? Is porn his gift? What is even happening here? I NEED ANSWERS! 

sexy man Santa Claus

Dude. This NOT what your mother meant when she said “Put a hat on.”

Another common stock art standard is the thumbs up pose. I picked this one because Santa hat. (See? They’re everywhere.) Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to use the thumbs up pose sarcastically. Like when my husband asks me how the story’s coming.

But all the people on the stock art sites seems so damn earnest in their thumbs up giving. Why? Why are you people so earnest about it? Is the photographer blackmailing you? Is that what’s going on here? Are you signaling for help? (Oh, and the selfie douche? Scroll back up – he’s also giving the thumbs up. What the hell, man?)

Cheerful young woman in santa claus hat showing thumbs up


In keeping with the technology theme, I’d like to address headphones. You find a model that you’d really like on a book cover (not this guy) and bam! giant headphones  lousing up your cover art vibe.

Man in living room watching television and wearing headphones

Everything in my house is white because I make poor life choices. 

Look, I like being outside. I even like working outside. However, you can’t sit in direct sunlight and expect to be able to see anything on your screen. Also, what the fuck is with this guy. Have you even computered before, dude?

Man working with notebook in the park.

Now, how do I get to the Facebook, again?

There are also an alarming amount of pictures of women posing “seductively” with their blowdryers. I am…not sure what’s happening here. Or why. But I do know that I’m profoundly uncomfortable.

Pretty woman blowing on hairdryer

Anthropomorphizing has gone too far.

Also, please stop with the stupid hats that ruin otherwise cute-ish photos that could work for cover and promo art. Just lose the damn hats. They’re ruining everything.


See? This kid knows the pain of a bad hat.

Happy Girl Having Great Fun And Wearing A Multicolored Hat

I feel you, kid. I feel you. 

We need to talk about all the hearts. They’re everywhere on stock art sites. Paper hearts. Puffy hearts. Dough hearts. Rock hearts. Balloon hearts. They’re like a flea infestation in a dairy barn. Weirdly, the majority of the hearts are hiding people’s faces. What does that mean? And why are so many people hiding behind hearts? I need someone to explain the psychology of this to me.


Please just stop already with the hearts.

Apropos of nothing, what is with nearly every couple having a Jack and Rose pose on stock art sites?! That shit needs to stop.

young couple  on beach have fun

There’s only room for one of you on that hunk of wood. 

While we’re talking “romantic” images, what the hell is it with one partner looking really into it, but the other one looks…

Sexy passionate couple

…regretful of her life choices and possibly nauseated.



…like he thinks he’s entirely too cool for this trendy European street scene.

Beautiful sexy couple portrait. Model man with girlfriend posing

…about to fly into a murderous rage, but not before ascending to the throne in Hell.


…bored, now.

Speaking of couples, are these two about to get it on in their kid’s preschool classroom?! What the actual merciless fuck are we supposed to get from this photo besides a deep sense of discomfort and shame?

Flirtatious couple enjoying breakfast

Look, I don’t want to kink shame, but…

Speaking of kink…

I guess…

I would very much like someone to explain the absolutely baffling fuckery of this photograph.

Tiny apartment sized ironing board? Check.

Itty bitty travel iron? Check.

Portrait of judgmental cat? Check.

Late 80s bridal lingerie? Check.

Dude with sardonically arched eyebrow and buttchin? Check and check.


Young attractive couple and british cat in a dark room

Ironing out the kinks in their relationship…?

Then…there’s this. I have zero words for this super low-budget ren faire photo, and that’s coming from someone who actually enjoys ren faires.

Folk musicians and woman dancer.

The Minstrels of Misrule, slaying their cover of “Mr. Brownstone” while Lady Eowyn performs her interpretive dance piece. 

I could go on for pages about stock art.

And probably days.

No, I could definitely go on for days. There are just so many inexplicable photos there. Which stock art photos baffle you the most?


A few days ago, I at one of the local Meijer stores with Mia (if you’re not familiar, think Target…with groceries) and we spotted a display of Santa Clauses. There were traditional Santas, St. Nicholas type Santas, skiing Santas, woodland Santas, fishing Santas wearing a vest and a floppy fishing hat, hunting Santas wearing camouflage holding a rifle, and then…there was this guy.

Hippie Santa.

Please note the fringed vest, head band, flower, peace symbol necklace and (weirdly patriotic) love beads.

Now, I admit, I have a certain fondness for hippies. It could be because of the guy who used to work at the daycare center I attended as a child and sang us Eagles songs on his acoustic guitar. It could be all the delicious homemade granola my mom made for us when we were little. It could even be tambourine playing-rock band groupie-skirt and scarf wearing (her collection rivaled Stevie Nicks’) Aunt Malita.

However, I’m not sure how I feel about this guy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about peace, love and understanding and also the joy of Christmas…but I think I find hippie Santa both awesome and disconcerting. Or maybe, awesomely disconcerting.

What do you think of him?

Yes…this is my life.

You know that phrase, “In the parade of dumb and stupid, I’m the one twirling the flaming baton?” Well boy-howdy, I’m not leading the parade of dumb and stupid – I AM the parade. In a nutshell – I just flashed the damn Fed-Ex guy. The extremely hot (but stoooopid) Fed-Ex guy.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version. I have an enclosed front porch. I have two small kittens. Hot guy knocks on my inner door, leaving the outer door wide open, with a package for me, I open the inner door a crack and say, “Please shut the door…I have kittens that I don’t want to get out.” He stands there staring like the village idiot.

Yes, it’s almost noon. Yes, I have my jammies on. Don’t judge me. I’m a writer. It’s what we do.

I feel comfortable stating that he wasn’t staring because of my ravishing beauty. Seriously – my hair is sticking out at weird angles, my glasses are crooked and I’m in my jammies. My ugly jammies. It’s more of a night shirt, really. It should also be noted I was sans undies – not that it was apparent while I was standing at the door, but more on that later.

So while, he stands there with a vacant expression on his face mumbling about needing to sign for my box of bookmarks, Morrighan and Willow – cutest and also naughtiest kittens in the world – dart around our feet while he says, “Oh…you have cats.” Why, yes. Yes, I do. I mentioned them earlier when I asked you to close the fucking door.

I yelp and tell him to move while I dart outside and scoop up the spastic little balls of fur. That’s when my jammie shirt flips up showing my bare ass. I should also mention the two cars that drove by while I was grabbing the kittens. I’m pretty sure one of them contained my neighbor, Betty the Biddy.

To make my day complete, as I stumbled up my steps with an armful squirming kitten, Morrighan clawed at my jammies, exposing my right breast to the Fed-Ex guy who continued to stare like Cleetus the Slackjawed Yokel.

I put the kittens in the house, signed for the damn bookmarks on one of those electronic signing things, after adding a small nearly illegible note that said, “Next time, close the damn door.”

Calling All Dream Interpreters…yes…again.

Okay, so in my dream, I was pulling my car into my driveway. Of course, being all dreamy, it really wasn’t my driveway. Alongside this driveway was a pond where my friend’s two year old daughter, Amelia, was playing with her grandmother sort of keeping an eye on her. Not a close enough eye, in my opinion because Amelia was laying on her belly and pulling rocks out of the water using her mouth.

Most of the rocks were those icky stones that had been dyed unnatural colors. But, I have to admit they looked quite pretty in the water with the sunlight shining on them through the trees. Amelia waded into the water which was deeper than I expected, so I pulled her out and brought her to my car where I knew I had more rocks for her to play with.

I opened my car door and reached for a rock that looked like it had wavy lines of sedimentary deposits only when I touched it, those lines turned into squirming worms embedded into the stone. Then the rest of the rocks that were in my car turned into a giant mass of writhing nightcrawlers and worms. They filled the entire interior of my car. And they stunk something awful.

This is where I jolted awake with my heart pounding and my body shaking. I’m not afraid of worms or nightcrawlers so I’m not sure where the fear response came from and I’ve got no clue what this dream means. WTF? Thoughts? Comments? Apocalyptic prophecies?

(No, I didn’t eat anything weird (or at all) before I went to bed)

Yet another sign of the coming Apocalypse

I have the illustrious Margaret to thank for this little gem.

Apparently, there is a Hello Kitty machine gun. Yep…you read that right. An honest to God, machine gun. One that shoots bullets. Real bullets.

I have but one question. WTF??? No, really – wtf?

This lovely AK-47 is made by Glambo. No…I didn’t make that up.

Please note the hand crocheted stock cover – just what every fashionable assassin needs.

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